Vehicles with Sudden Unintended Acceleration Issues
In the last quarter of 2015, social media has been flooded with horrible reports about SUVs having sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) or sudden acceleration (SA) problems, particularly that of Mitsubishi’s Montero Sport in the Philippines.
SUA Incidents in the Philippines
Already, there have been 25 complaints this quarter involving damage to other vehicles, damage to property, bodily injuries and even deaths. But SUA or SA incidents are not confined to the Philippines, nor were they experienced only late this year. According to reports, there were already SUA incidents, which occurred in various locations in the Philippines from 2010 to 2012.
In December 2010, a Montero suddenly accelerated and slammed into a stationary Benz, a wall and a palm tree in Quezon City. The air bags were faulty. In August 2011, another Montero suddenly accelerated along the road to Antipolo, and barely hit the passing schoolchildren. In March 2012, a Montero crashed into two cars parked outside the garage, allegedly due to SUA.
Mitsubishi Philippines have already declared their Montero Sport is not defective and that technically “SUA is not possible on a Montero.” They added that all measures are in place to overcome SUA.
The company and the public are awaiting final investigation results from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
SUA Incidents in the USA
These reports have tainted Montero Sport, and a number of people are already wary of the car model. However, Montero is not the only model marred with SUA issues. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating and correcting sudden acceleration for nearly 30 years now.
The NHTSA found in 1989 that the SUA incidents involving Audi 500 units were due to driver’s error. NHTSA investigator, Richard Schmidt, told reporters that often the driver mistakenly press the gas pedal instead of the brake.
Toyota and Lexus
In 2009, some owners accused Toyota and Lexus brands for having SUA problems, leading to numerous property damages, injuries, and at least 19 casualties. The NHTSA investigated the matter in 2010 with the help of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) engineers. The team found that the main cause were sticky accelerator pedals trapped by worn or faulty floor mats. Toyota then recalled 8 million cars and paid $1.2 billion settlement in 2014.